President’s Day Shopping Guide: Buy This, NOT That

csprezWhile schools and Government offices look forward to a day off on Monday, Feb. 16, retailers everywhere are ramping up for a busy shopping day. President’s Day represents the first major sales holiday of the year with advertisements promising super savings on just about everything, which has millions of consumers feeling eager to buy.

Assessing the real deals from the duds can be challenging especially if stores inflate prices to make a sale appear like a better value. To avoid falling for faulty offers, follow this “buy this, not that” guide to President’s Day sales.

Buy This: Winter Apparel
Already on the clearance rack, winter apparel is a steal during President’s Day sales as many stores offer additional savings on top of reduced prices. For example, you can find coupons to Macy’s for an extra 20-percent off your purchase through, or save up to $75 off your purchase from Lane Bryant. Plan ahead for next winter and stock up on coats, sweaters, scarves and boots for your whole family. Keep in mind, there’s plenty of time to get some use out of these goods before the temperatures finally rise.

Not That: Spring Attire
Storewide and site-wide savings may give the impression that new arrivals are a great buy, but don’t be fooled. Spring attire is best purchased when you can score savings of at least 50 percent, not a paltry 15 or 20 percent. Save your warm weather buys for later in the season and fill any gaps in your winter wardrobe with deeply discounted garments. May is a better time to pick up spring looks for less, as summer wear is making it’s way onto showroom floors and stores are eager to move inventory.

Buy This: Tech
Close to one-third of all President’s Day sales last year were for electronics, according to DealNews. In addition to across-the-board sales, look for stackable coupons to deepen your discounts. As always, compare prices between stores and request price matches where available. For example, Staples price-matches Walmart and is offering the Apple iPad Air 2 16GB WiFi for the sale price of $459. Walmart offers the same gadget for $10 less, so this deal is a great opportunity to walk out of Staples with the product you want at the price you want!

Not That: Jewelry
President’s Day is a weekend-long sales event which starts on Valentine’s Day. Jewelry stores will promote deals on diamond, gold and other shiny gifts, but ultimately February is not the best time to buy bling. According to the experts at CreditDonkey, March offers better deals because the holiday hype has died down as so has traffic to jewelry stores. Additionally, July and August are typically slow months for jewelers as consumers are more concerned about soaking up the last bit of summers’ rays before school gets back in session.

Buy This: Mattresses
If you’re not catching enough Zzz’s lately, your mattress might be the culprit. Sleeping well is key to your overall health and contributes to a stronger cardiovascular system and even weight loss. President’s Day weekend typically offers savings of between 50 and 80 percent on mattresses, with financing incentives and even free haul away of your old mattress and box springs. Before you head to the show room, be sure you know how to manage the aggressive sales tactics often used by mattress representatives and read my guide on how to shop for a new bed.

Not That:
New Car

President’s Day weekend represents the end of a dry spell for car dealerships, as winter weather and the holiday season do not make for ideal car-shopping conditions. While car salespeople try to convince you that the holiday is the best time to buy a car, experts disagree. Jeff Ostroff of CarBuyingTips told recently that there’s not much of a price difference between this weekend and other times during the year. He advises car buyers hold off during slower, quieter times when salespeople don’t have as many customers, or to wait until dealerships are looking to meet end-of-year sales goals in December.

Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly contributes to leading national and regional news stories. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, and been quoted in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Better Homes & Garden and many others. Andrea also enjoys writing articles for various personal finance and lifestyle websites and blogs. Andrea is passionate about sharing ideas and tips to help you live on less without having to sacrifice. She says making a few small tweaks to daily and monthly spending is all you need to do to achieve your dreams within your means. Follow Andrea on Facebook and Twitter for daily savings tips and check back for new videos, magazine stories and blog posts all about saving money!

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